Fears of a worsening shortage of secondary teachers in 2023
A lack of graduates, Covid-19, and people moving overseas have led to a teacher shortage in New Zealand.
In turn, students are unsettled, according to Onehunga Secondary School Principal Deidre Shea and Auckland Head Teachers Association President Wendy Kofoed.
“We are currently having very significant problems in schools finding qualified educators and respite workers to meet the growing needs in our Auckland schools and this is putting pressure on the staff we have,” Kofoed told Breakfast.
She says it’s common right now to split classes of children between different teachers on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.
“It’s having an effect on student learning and it’s also concerning for teachers.”
“Some schools have had to go back to online learning, or blended learning or keep age groups at home and that’s also made worse by the fact that we can’t get those kinds of long-term relievers. “, said Kofoed.
Weighing in on the matter, Shea told Breakfast that in the secondary education sector there has always been a shortage of teachers in certain areas.
“But the situation has certainly gotten worse and, as you probably know, made worse by the fact that in 2021 more people entered the post-graduate or one-year training program for secondary school teachers, but in 2022 this year fewer are in training.
“So this shortage that we are currently feeling is going to get worse in terms of employment for 2023.”
She said with the reopening of borders, there is hope that teachers can be hired overseas to provide the best learning for students.
“In schools, what we try to do, of course, is to ensure that young people have the best possible opportunities.”
READ MORE: Over 25,000 Covid cases reported in New Zealand schools in past 10 days
Shea said the Covid disruption, among other things, has led to students being distracted in class.
“Some of them [students] do not engage well in school work because of course for two and a half years, especially in areas like Auckland, their schooling has been seriously interrupted.
“That regularity and routine, the protective factor if you like school, has been eroded,” she said.
The Department of Education has been contacted for comment.